The history of the Diocese of Superior dates back to the 17th century. Our Journey Through Faith offers a glimpse into the historic events that played a role in the growth of Catholicism in Northern Wisconsin. Diocese of Superior - Statistics
Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
Beginning in 1882, Franciscan Fr. Chrysostom Verwyst began walking from Bayfield twice a month to celebrate Mass in Washburn. There was no Catholic Church at this time, so the Mass was held wherever possible. In 1887 St. Louis Church was incorporated and the first Catholic church was constructed on the block of Fifth Street and Fourth Avenue. The present property at Seventh Street and Washington was purchased in 1889. In 1890, the old church was moved to the new property and additional building began. The following year, a parochial school opened. The Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus accepted responsibility for the parish in 1894. Then, in 1902, the cornerstone was laid for a new church.
A transition in parish leadership took place in 1910 when the first diocesan priest, Fr. Walter Beaudette, was appointed. The present school building was opened in February 1963. Because of safety concerns the church was closed in 1972 and Masses were celebrated in the school gymnasium. After several years of renovation, the church was rededicated on July 7, 1985. Today St. Louis Parish operates the only Catholic school (pre-kindergarten through grade six) in Bayfield County.
REFERENCE: Our Journey through Faith: A History of the Diocese of Superior,
by Sam Lucero, 2005.